Josh Graves

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Josh Graves
Birth nameBurkett Howard Graves
Born(1927-09-27)September 27, 1927
OriginTennessee, USA
DiedSeptember 30, 2006(2006-09-30) (aged 79)

Josh Graves (September 27, 1927 Tellico Plains, Monroe County, Tennessee – September 30, 2006), born Burkett Howard Graves, was an American bluegrass musician. Also known by the nicknames "Buck," and "Uncle Josh," he is credited with introducing the resonator guitar (commonly known under the trade name of Dobro) into bluegrass music shortly after joining Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys in 1955. He was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor in 1997.

He joined producers Randall Franks and Alan Autry for the In the Heat of the Night cast CD “Christmas Time’s A Comin’” performing "Christmas Time's A Comin'" with the cast on the CD released on Sonlite and MGM/UA for one of the most popular Christmas releases of 1991 and 1992 with Southern retailers.


Musical style[edit]

Graves originally joined the Foggy Mountain Boys as a bass player but collaborated with bandmate Earl Scruggs to develop a new style of dobro-picking based on Scruggs' three-finger syncopated banjo style. Graves switched to the dobro; his way of playing helped propel the instrument into becoming one of the defining features of the bluegrass sound. Graves adoption of hammer-ons and pull-offs to combine open strings and fretted notes in rapid scalar passages elevated the Dobro to the level of holding its own with the fiddle and banjo.[1]: 49  Graves played fast and loud but also created extremely sensitive melodic backing to bluesy ballads and slower gospel numbers. Josh Graves is credited as being a major influence on many leading resophonic guitar players, including Jerry Douglas, Mike Auldridge, and Phil Leadbetter among them.


  1. ^ Cundell, R. Guy S. (July 1, 2019). "Across the South: The origins and development of the steel guitar in western swing" (PDF). Adelaide, Australia: University of Adelaide. Retrieved November 29, 2020.

Discography of Blue Grass Sound Recordings, 1942-, Ibiblio catalog, accessed October 22, 2020,

Goldsmith, Thomas. The Bluegrass Reader. 2006. Chicago: University of Illinois Press.

Graves, J., Bartenstein, F., & Rosenberg, N. (2012). Bluegrass Bluesman: A Memoir (Music in American Life) (1st ed.). University of Illinois Press.

Rosenberg, Neil V. Bluegrass: A History. 2005. Chicago: University of Illinois Press.

External links[edit]

Selected discography[edit]


Title Label Year
Bluegrass Hits Just Joshing Cotton Town Jubilee 1964
Uncle Josh And His Dobro Cotton Town Jubilee 1965
Something Different Puritan 1972
Bucktime Puritan 1974
Alone At Last Epic 1974
Josh Graves With Bobby Smith Vetco 1976
Sweet Sunny South CMH 1976
Sing Bluegrass Vol. 2 With Josh Graves Vetco 1976
Meetin' At The Crossroads Music City Workshop 1977
Same Old Blues CMH 1977
Smokin' Bluegrass CMH 1978
Bluegrass Specials:We're Gonna Have A Ball Cowboy Carl 1979
First Breath Of Spring Koala 1979
Sing Away The Pain CMH 1979
King Of The Cobra CMH 1980
Playing It Simple Vetco 1980
Living Legends:Dobro And Fiddle Instrumentals Old Homestead 1983
Something Old, Something New Atteiram 1984
Flying South:Fiddle And Dobro Bluegrass Instrumentals Ridge Runner 1986
Tennessee-Kentucky Favorites Montana Country 1987
Dad The Dobro Man CMH 1987
The Real Josh:Super Sidemen Vol. 1 Amber 1988
The Puritan Sessions Rebel 1989
Plays Country Classics Legend 1993
Sings Country Classics Legend 1994
Church In The Wildwood Legend 1995
Live In Port Huron, Michigan Legend 1995
The Graves Situation Legend 1996
King Of The Dobro:A Musical Documentary CMH 1996
Josh Graves Dobro Rebel 1998
Overdue Foster Creek 1998
Sultan Of Slide OMS 2000
World Famous Dobro Starday 2002
Memories Of Foggy Mountain OMS 2002
Just Joshin' Red Clay 2005